From the Bridal Association of America, a Wedding Timeline will help brides, grooms, parents and everyone who wants to “help” stay on the same page as the happy couple gets ready for the big day.
9-12 Months Before
• Determine who will officiate at the ceremony.
• Select a wedding date and time.
• Determine how many guests may attend.
• Determine the type of wedding you want (size, formality, style, color scheme).
• Select and order the bridesmaids’ dresses.
• Establish a preliminary budget.
• Select and secure a photographer.
• Select a caterer if not already provided by the reception.
• Select and secure your reception location.
• Select and secure your ceremony location.
• Select and secure your DJ / MC.
• Begin choosing your wedding cake baker, videographer, and florist. Sign necessary contracts.
• Pick out engagement ring with fiancé.
6 -9 Months Before
• Start compiling the guest list (inform your families to do the same).
• Select the attendants for your wedding party.
• Shop for the wedding dress, headpiece, veil, etc.
• Start planning for honeymoon.
• Register with a gift bridal registry in your favorite store.
4-6 Months Before
• Make appointments for a physical exam with your doctor/dentist.
• Check requirements for blood test and marriage license in your state.
• Shop for wedding rings.
• Select and order the invitations and stationery.
• Decide where to live after the wedding.
• Complete the guest lists.
• Begin shopping for trousseau.
• Encourage mothers to select their dresses.
• Select and order the men’s attire.
• Finalize honeymoon details and make the necessary reservations.
2-4 Months Before
• Announce your engagement in the newspaper
• Confirm the menu and catering details with the caterer.
• Prepare all maps and directions for the ceremony and reception.
• Select your wedding rings.
• Buy a wedding guest book.
• Set the dates and times with the officiant for the rehearsal.
• Plan the bridesmaids’ luncheon and any other parties.
• Determine your resources for designing and printing the program for the ceremony.
• Finalize the florist details, photographer, videographer, DJ/MC, etc.
• Arrange the necessary accommodations for out-of-town guests.
• Plan a rehearsal dinner, time and place.
• Confirm the wedding cake details with the baker.
6 -8 Weeks Before
• Mail invitations and announcements.
• Prepare a portrait for the newspaper. Check your local newspaper for details and timing.
• Set appointment with photographer for your formal bridal portrait.
• Select gifts for all your attendants.
• Set appointments with any hairdressers and/or makeup artists.
• Hire the limousine or other forms of transportation for the wedding.
4-6 Weeks Before
• Decide what your menu is going to be for the reception. Estimate the expected number of guests.
• Buy a gift for the groom. n Schedule a final fitting for your gown so it can be ready for your formal bridal portrait.
• Purchase a going away outfit.
• Pick up your wedding rings.
• Purchase (borrow) all wedding accessories such as the ring pillow, goblets, garter belt, candles, etc.
• Confirm florist details and delivery times.
• Plan the seating for the reception as well as other details for the ceremony and reception. Start writing placement cards.
• Make sure all bridesmaids’ attire has been fitted.
• Buy a gift for the bride.
2 Weeks Before
• Set up final consultation with your DJ/MC.
• Make arrangements to have your wedding gifts moved to your new home.
• Handle business and legal details such as name changes, address changes, etc.
• Prepare the wedding announcement for the newspaper.
• Reconfirm your guests’ accommodations.
• Make sure all clothing and accessories for you and the bridal party are ready.
• Get your marriage license and any blood tests which are needed.
The Week Before
• Review any seating details with the ushers.
• Make sure all wedding attire fits.
• Finalize the seating arrangements.
• Reconfirm your honeymoon reservations. Ensure you have any necessary plane tickets.
• Start packing for your honeymoon.
• Call any guests who have not responded yet.
• Finish place cards for reception.
• Review all the final details with your photographer, videographer, etc.
• Give a final head count to caterer.
• Delegate responsibilities to reliable individuals on your wedding day.
• Wrap and present the wedding party gifts.
• Finalize your rehearsal dinner arrangements or other plans.
The Day Before
• Get a manicure or massage to relax yourself.
• Stay with your family the night before and go to sleep early.
• Review and rehearse all the details of your participants.
The Big Day
• Make sure the best man and maid of honor sign the wedding certificate.
• Allow yourself plenty of time to get dressed.
• Be sure to eat properly.
• Rest and relax with a good bath.
• Prepare for your hairdresser and makeup appointments.
• Enjoy your wonderful wedding and cherish each and every moment.